Monday, April 21, 2014

Franklin Parker Preserve • April 17, Atsion Lake Trail • April 18

Pine Warbler. This was a quick stop at Franklin Parker Preserve in Chatsworth, New Jersey. In just the few minutes we looked around there was a bounty of bird and other wildlife! A full visit of this area is on the list for next time!

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. These birds were *everywhere* during our visit to South Jersey.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. Now we at along the Atsion Lake Trail, Atsion, New Jersey, a one-mile nature route that has a simply remarkable amount of fascinating plant and wildlife!

Atsion Lake. Too bad it was a cloudy day for landscape pictures.

Swamp Habitat

Atsion Lake. There are no naturally occurring lakes in New Jersey. True to form, Atsion Lake is a manmade lake.

Carolina Chickadee. Carolina Chickadees look nearly identical to Black-capped Chickadees. But when they start singing, there is no chance of confusing the two! The Black-cap's song is a drawn out "FEE-bee". The Carolina's is a quicker and more musical "FEE-bee-FEE-bay", with each syllable on a different note.

Carolina Chickadee. Carolinas and Black-caps pretty much never occur in the same area. In Rochester it is 100% Black-caps. In South Jersey it is 100% Carolinas and the switch between the species as one travels northward is pretty abrupt.

Wintergreen. The leaves and fruit are edible and, yes, this is where the flavor wintergreen comes from! I tasted a number of these fruits and enjoyed letting the mashed up fruit spread wintergreen flavor throughout my mouth.

Pyxie. This is a Pine Barrens species of ground cover. The sandy soil is ideal for this plant.

Swamp Habitat

Golden Club. This species is threatened or endangered in several of the surrounding states, including New York, but not listed as being of concern in New Jersey.

Golden Club. I seem to recall seeing this plant in Rochester during my kayaking expeditions, but the USDA does not show it being reported in Monroe county. I will have to take a closer look this summer when on the water.